Lawmakers in the Texas House are questioning the use of a public relations firm surrounding the House’s impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton earlier this year.

Newly released records reveal that the House General Investigating Committee gave $32,000 to New West Communications, a group that specializes in “media relations, crisis communications, strategy & audience identification, and message development and deployment.” The payments were made from June through October, before and after the trial.

Now State Reps. Brian Harrison (R–Midlothian),  Nate Schatzline (R–Ft Worth), Steve Toth (R–The Woodlands), and Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) are seeking answers for the expenditures.

In a letter to State Rep. Andrew Murr (R–Junction), who chairs the committee, the group calls the invoices “shocking on multiple levels.”

“The monthly budget during session for a Member’s entire House Office – including rent and all staff members – is $19,250, yet the GI committee appears to have forced taxpayers to spend almost twice that amount purely on public affairs to shape the narrative regarding the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton,” the letter reads.

The group also noted that the majority of the services were provided while a gag order was issued on the House and Senate, or after the trial.

On behalf of our hard working and over-taxed constituents, whose tax dollars paid for these services, we are writing to formally request that these invoices are not paid until an investigation into the propriety has occurred, or it already paid, that the GI Committee provide a full justification for these expenditures as well as a detailed list of services rendered by Nine West Communications.

Murr did not respond to a request for comment. 

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens

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